Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Reading Is Fundamental

A while back, I posted about winning an auction that included an Allen & Ginter Fans of the Period (N7) card that I really liked. Since then, I've picked up a more of those cards, mostly in low grade condition. So, I actually was up to 17 unique cards from the 50 card Fans set.

In a recent auction, I saw a lot that was titled as eight higher grade Fans cards. Since most of my current cards were lower grade, I figured I would bid because, even if there was cards in the lot that duplicated what I already had, they would still be upgrades.  And, I ended up winning the auction.

Fast forward to the cards arriving and, as I open the envelope and look at them, they don't look anything remotely like the typical Fans card. So, I flip then over and what do I see?

 That's right. These aren't Allen & Ginter Fans of the Period, they are from the A&G set designated N18 - Parasol Drill.

Figuring that the auction house shipped me the wrong lot, I went back and double checked the auction.  Alas, the lot I won was mistitled, but the underlying description was correct and, if I had bothered to look at the images closely, I would probably have noticed that the subjects weren't actually holding fans.

But, I didn't and I should have darn well known better. So, this is all on me.

Ah well, I guess I am collecting this set now too.  That, or maybe I'll just consider this an early entry into a future N-series Type card collection. Either way, let this be a cautionary tale, boys and girls.  Always, always, always read the full description.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Acting! Thank you!

As I was re-sleeving the partial 1973 Topps football set I bought last weekend, I came across the Merlin Olsen card and I remembered that he had a  post-football acting career.  It also occurred to me that other football players made a transition into acting after they retired.  It got me thinking about how many playes with cards in ther '73 football set actually had Hollywood careers.

While I will make no representation that this is complete, my best estimate is 11 players featured in this set also had some form of acting career.   So, let's take a look. I included a small summary of their football career and what I consider their most iconic acting role.  Keen observers will note that my choice of iconic roles gives away my age and primary TV viewing era.  Since YMMV, I have included a link to each players IMDB profile, so you can view their acting career and decide for yourself what you consider their greatest role.

Terry Bradshaw - Card #15  

Football Career Summary: 
  • 14 seasons and 158 starts as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 107-51 record
  • Playoff appearances in 9 seasons and a 14-5 record including 4 Super Bowl wins in 4 attempts.
  • Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 along with teammate Mel Blount
Most Iconic Acting Role:  

Deacon Jones -  Card #38

Football Career Summary:
  • 14 year career (19061-1974) as a Defensive End, mostly with the LA Rams but also 2 seasons with the SD Chargers and1with the Redskins
  • 8 Pro Bowl appearances
  • Considered one of the greatest defensive players ever, he coined the term "sack."
  • Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in

Most Iconic Acting Role: 

Larry Csonka - Card #100

Football Career Summary:
  • 11 year NFL career as a fullback - 8 with the Miami Dolphins and 3 with the NY Giants. He played 1 year in the defunct World Football League
  • 3 1000 rushing seasons
  • Played in 3 consecutive Super Bowls, winning 2 and taking home the MVP in Super Bowl VIII
  • Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987
Most Iconic Acting Role
Bubba Smith - Card #155

Football Career Summary:
  • Played 9 seasons across 10 years, 5 with Baltimore and 2 each with Oakland and Houston
  • 2 Time Pro Bowler
  • Played in Super Bowl V with the Baltimore Colts, the winner over the Dallas Cowboys
Most Iconic Acting Role: 

Roman Gabriel - Card #266

Football Career Summary:
  • 16 year career as a QB with the LA Rams(11 years) and Philadelphia Eagles (5 years)
  • Started 157 games with an 86-64-7 record
  • NFL MVP in 1969

Most Iconic Acting Role: 

Dick Butkus - Card #300  

Football Career Summary:
  • Played 9 seasons, all with the Chicago Bears
  • 8 time Pro-Bowler
  • Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979
  • Scored 10 points in his NFL career: 6 on a fumble recovery for a TD, 2 on a safety, and 2 on extra point kicks 

Most Iconic Acting Role: 

Lyle Alzado - Card #312

Football Career Summary:
  • Played 15 seasons (!) as a Defensive End for Denver (8 years), Cleveland (3 years) and the LA Raiders (4 years)
  • 2 time Pro Bowler
  • Played in 2 Super Bowls including on the winning side of Super Bowl XVIII
Most Iconic Acting Role: 

Fred Dryer - Card #389

Football Career Summary:
  • 13 year career as a defensive end starting with 3 years with the Giants, which culminated in a trade to the Patriots and subsequent trade to the LA Rams where he spent the last 10 years of his career
  • Set an NFL record by scoring two safeties in a single game against the Packers on 10/21/1973
  • Played in Super Bowl XIV in which the Rams lost to the Steelers

Most Iconic Acting Role:

Joe Namath - Card #400

Football Career Summary:
  • 13 year career, mostly with the NY Jets, but finished out his career in 1977 with the Rams. He started the first 4 games of the season with a 2-2 record and rode the pine the remainder of the season before retiring
  • Led the Jets to an upset victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III
  • Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985
Most Iconic Acting Role: 
  • Himself in The Brady Bunch
  • He also has guest hosted the Tonight Show subbing in for Johnny Carson
  • Namath's IMDB

Merlin Olsen - Card #479

Football Career Summary:
  • 15 year career all with the LA Rams as a Defensive Tackle and only missed two games in that time
  • 1962 Rookie of the Year
  • Played in 14 Pro Bowls, only missing in his final season
  • Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982

Most Iconic Acting Role: 
  • Jonathon Garvey in The Little House on the Prairie
  • Olsen's IMDB

OJ Simpson - Card #500

Football Career Summary:
  • 11 year career, 9 of which were with the Buffalo Bills and the final two with the 49ers.
  • First running back to rush for more than 2000 yards in a season in 1973. That still stands as the 7th best rushing season in NFL history 
  • Turned in a 95 yard punt return for a TD and has actually passed for a touchdown.
  • Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985

Most Iconic Acting Role: 

So, there are the eleven subjects in the 1973 Topps football set who also had acting careers.  Interestingly, there are two other players who were active during the 1973 season, and had acting careers, but did not get their first trading card until Topps' 1974 set: Ed Marinaro, best known as a regular on Hill Street Blues and John Matuszak, who made a fair number of guest appearance in TV shows and movies but is best known for playing Sloth in The Goonies.

EDIT: Does anyone get Blogger?  I publish posts and it has multiple fonts and line spacings despite me not trying to do that.  It really ticks me off and having to fix it in the HTML code is a real PITA.

What I am listening to: Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Monday, January 27, 2020

On Fire!

One day after stating the blog would return to being silent for a while, I am back with another post. I am on fire!

What could be the catalyst? An envelope from Night Owl!  What did I get?

This is the 8th card I have received from the 15 card Mares and Stallions insert set in 2019 Allen & Ginter.

The cards were wrapped in paper inside the envelope. The first thing I saw as I unfolded the paper was the name "Clayton Kershaw" and I was confused.  Why would he send me a Kershaw card? Once I completely exposed the card, it all came back to me.  A while back he showed this card on his blog and, in what I thought was a throwaway comment, said that if he ever came across another, I'd happily trade for it. I had completely forgotten until this showed up and I cannot express how happy this makes me. It has been added to my binder of horse themed cards.

On a separate, but related note, I have to express my admiration for Night Owl.  I have been told I am a good writer, but it is in the context of business communication.  My boss tells me that my executive updates never have to be corrected for spelling, grammar, or to increase clarity.  But, when it comes to creative writing, I am a complete failure.  Some people have what it takes to write creatively. Others don't. I don't, but NO does.  How he writes for his work, and then cranks out multiple blog posts a week for years on end is nothing short of amazing.

And I think he may have included a little of that magic in this envelope.  As I re-sleeved the partial 1973 Topps football set I bought over the weekend, a tiny little spark crossed between two synapses in the over-ripe melon I call a head.  And I actually have an idea for a blog post that is more than just showing off what I got at the most recent show.  I have already started the research, but there is much more to do. I hope to have it out by this coming weekend. I m pretty excited about it.  Stay tuned.

What I am listening to: "Why Not Me?" by The Judds

Sunday, January 26, 2020


With my newfound desire to remain laser focused on my primary collecting goals, I headed off to the every-other month OKC show yesterday morning (Saturday.)  My main goal for the show was to see if I could find any of the few remaining cards I needed for my 1968 and 1970 sets, and to look for additional 1960 and 1965 set needs. I took along my 1956 Mantle I won in a recent set break to  see if I might swing a trade for some of the 1955 Topps stars I need.

And that is where everything went off the rails.  I found none of my '68 and '70 needs and the 1960 cards were priced above my target range, so I left them be. There were no 1955 star cards to trade for. However,  I did manage to find one card for my 1965 set at a cost I was comfortable with.

Only 167 cards left to finish that set.  Great progress today.


So, in the interest of not leaving early, I kept looking and managed to find 8 cards I needed for my 1972-73 Basketball set, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and The Logo.

I also managed to pick up a  few game-used cards for Hall-of-Famers from the early 2000s for a few bucks each, and an autographed Gil McDougal from the Upper Deck Yankee Classics set. I bought a box of Yankee Classics early in my return to collecting and finished the base set.  I only have  few of the autographs, and no real intent to finish that part of the set, but it was only $5.

The Duke Snider seems familiar.  I think I may have traded one to Night Owl.  (If I haven't, NO, and you want it, let me know. I found a two of your 1956 needs and I can send it along for the ride.)

I also found this Wheaties Pete Rose card. I don't know anything about it, as it has a blank back.  I am not a Pete Rose fan, but I thought it was a neat looking card.

Where things really got off into the ditch was when I bought partial set of 1973 Topps football partial set, with 348 out of 528 cards. I really don't need another tangent in my collecting. Particularly a sport I no longer follow.  But, I had a bunch of these cards as a kid and seeing them set off a wave of nostalgia.

I absolutely love that Joe Greene card and Tom Dempsey is quite the model of physical fitness there, isn't he?

But, the piece de resistance, the thing that made the whole day worthwhile, was found hiding in a 400 count box of low grade 1960s commons.

That is a 1922 American Caramel (E120) Joe Harris.  It is bent five ways from Sunday and has a little paper loss on the back, but Beckett says they are worth $30 in poor condition, so I am happy with the having only dropped a $20 on it.  I always drool over pre-war baseball cards, but don't really have the wallet to pursue building those sets. It might be fun to start a type collection where I just find one example from each of the various sets.  I've already got one T206, so I guess I am well on my way! But, I've got enough going on that I am not about to start any such thing until I am getting closer to finishing the Topps 1960s sets, of which I have I have finished exactly zero so far.

So.  Two posts in just a few days.  I haven't done that in forever.  But, it is likely to be short lived.  I'm not planning any major activity until the late April show in Dallas  While there may be a post here or there, and I suppose there is a chance the creative muse hits me, but we'll now return to your regularly scheduled non-programming.

What I am listening to: You're No Good by Linda Rondstadt

Friday, January 24, 2020

Bouncing Around

I've been bouncing around a lot lately.  My life has been unfocused and, seemingly out of control.  After Christmas, I flew up to Ohio to visit my mother and, apparently, sat next to Typhoid Mary on the flight home New Years Eve day.  What I thought was a common cold those first few days of January took a turn for the worse and I missed half of the first full work week of the year.  I don't get sick often. I generally get one cold a year and something more virulent once every 8 or 10 years. So, being laid up for several days really knocks me off my routine and I'm not sure I am back on it yet..  On top of helping my wife, who I managed to infect, this week I had to do performance reviews, which are never fun, even thought I have a great group of people.  

My hobby activity is similarly characterized by a lack of focus.  Well, that probably isn't completely fair, as the genesis of this post reaches back into November and doesn't really speak to my current efforts. But, you get the point.  Back in November, I discovered a new auction house that had a lot of 5 autographed 1960 Fleer cards.  The auction itself was something of a mess, as the auction house really wasn't ready for primetime. But, in the end, I won the lot and received my winnings.  So, no harm no foul.

The lot was accompanied with an auction LOA from JSA. Auction LOAs are just temporary authentications offered (probably at a discounted rate) to the auction house to help with the auction bidding.  The LOA expires a short time after the conclusion of the auction and the buyer has to resubmit the items,and pay, for a permanent certification. 

Anyways, given the nature of this part of my collection, I really am looking for authentication. So, I ended up sending my winnings in to PSA and, not surprisingly, they all came back as authentic.  And, here they are:

Five Hall of Famers from 1960 Fleer.  The cards themselves cost me approximately $24 each before PSA took about another $30 each. But, autographed cards of five great players for a bit more than $50 each is a pretty good deal, if you ask me. 

I hadn't done much with this part of my collection since fairly early in the year.  As I thought about what I want to accomplish this year,  I set myself a modest goal to get up over the 50% level of possible autographed cards from the 1960 through 1963 Fleer baseball sets.  Where do I stand at the moment?

So, I basically need 4 more autographed cards to get to that milestone.  I've mostly been bottom feeding on the 1960 and 1961 portion of the project.  I hope this year to add at least one of the more valuable autographs in these sets. But, time and circumstances will tell.   

What I am listening to: Small Paradise by John Mellencamp